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Franciacorta tasting notes

text and photographs © 2014 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Franciacorta and its wines.

MAJOLINI

Majolini is imported into the UK by Bat & Bottle.

Majolini, Franciacorta Satèn 2009, Italy
100% Chardonnay, bottled with 8g/l of residual sugar. Lovely touches of lightly baked, vanilla-scented apple, and delicate floral notes come through. Very dry, searing core of acidity that has a lovely sherbet brightness but also that really fresh apple crunch and crispness and loads of lemon rind and pithy cut. 89/100.

Majolini, Franciacorta Brut NV, Italy
90% Chardonnay, part in aged barrels, 10% Pinot Noir. 7g/l dosage. There is a lightly earthy, slightly bruised apple note that is lovely. In the mouth really quite full and palate-filling freshness, and again that touch of the oxidised, bruised apple and pear. Nice hints of sweetness here, in a wine that is long and quite complex. 90/100.

Majolini, Franciacorta Pas Dosé 2006, Italy
100% Chardonnay with only 1.7g/l natural residual sugar. A small proportion was fermented in older barrels. Lovely bruised fruit hints of maturity and oxidation, and there is a nettle and herb touch to this. A lovely palate, riven by that grapefruity tang and cut of citrus, plenty of acidity here, but there is a burgeoning hint of sweetness too. 91/100.

Majolini, Franciacorta Electo 2006, Italy
80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, part of the Chardonnay aged in barrel. Dosage 4g/l. Very sophisticated, tiny bubbles, quite deep and nutty with a touch of coffee and toast, and a sense of richness and ripeness. The palate is full and rich, has that nuttiness, and a squirt of fresh lemon and lime juiciness. The acidity a little less pithy and tart than the pas dosé, a refined, long finish. 92/100. Disgorged end of 2013.

Majolini, Franciacorta Electo 2005, Italy
Similar, glowing bright golden colour. Extra dimension of freshness and beautifully bright, flower-touched aromatics, with yeastiness and biscuit and a lovely fruit clarity. There's a burst of tangerine and bright, crunchy green apple acidity, giving this a thrilling vibrancy on the palate, though still with that hint of toast of the barrel and autolysis in the finish. 93/100.

Majolini, Franciacorta Blanc des Noirs Brut NV, Italy
100% Pinot Noir from the 2009 vintage. A slightly more vegetal and mushroomy character here, though it comes through with masses of sour lemony acidity. A really nice sherbet lemon brightness and load of tang and freshness, lovely stuff with terrific bright acidity in the end. 90/100.

label Majolini, Franciacorta Brut 1994, Italy
Made by Simone's uncle. 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot and a burnished golden colour, with a touch of caramel and bruised fruit, lots of apple and spice and pastry. Delicious, rich and sumptuous sweetness. The palate has such lovely full fruit, and such a delicate lacework of acidity, giving this a long, fresh and balanced character. Absolutely gorgeous stuff, drinking fantastically, but from the Majolini's library cellar. 94/100.

Majolini, Majolina 2010, Italy
Hand-crushed, into a 500 litre barrel for one year. This is the indigenous grape of which Majolini have 500 of the 1000 plants still in existence. Simone thinks the wine needs at least two years in bottle before drinking. Amazing nose, loads of lift and gaminess, the highish acidity seems to really add to the lift and game-touched, bright fruit of cherry. Such lightness and freshness on the palate. Delicious and typically northern Italian bite, but an unusual wine with a touch of chocolate and that cherry intensity filling out the fruit. Not for sale. 90/100.

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